Laughing Through the Ugly Cry with Dawn Barton

Joy and pain aren’t mutually exclusive; they mingle together in our stories every single day. That’s probably never been more true than in 2020. In these moments, we reach for guides who have traveled through some dark moments and come out the other side, and we couldn’t have a better teacher than writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed joyologist Dawn Barton. Pain and loss have been familiar companions to Dawn for a long time. She’s lost a baby daughter, and a sister to cancer. She’s suffered through sexual assault and walked her mother through recovery from an aneurysm, and her husband through alcohol addiction. Dawn has seen suffering, but she’s also realized that even in the middle of pain, you can experience full-fledged joy. Moments of hurt create opportunities for others to show up for us, and allow us to experience love in ways beyond what we ever thought possible (and sometimes scary times lead to hilarious ones, as Dawn found during her misadventures with a prosthetic breast named Lucky). Ultimately, our lives come full circle when we get to help someone else through their painful moments the way that others once helped us.